As In Bear
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As In Bear

Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom

Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
Band Alternative Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"[PART 1 OF 3] Ayrshire Showcase – Pivo Pivo, Glasgow – 4/9/11"

All is fairly quiet during the descent of the Pivo Pivo staircase to where the Kitchen Sessions stage is functioning as the platform for the provision of a chilled out acoustic start to the proceedings. Leisurely afternoon drinks wash down free pizza, as those assembled mill around sharing greetings and discussing the talent already on display. All in all, a pleasantly subdued start to the Ayrshire Showcase.

Of course, as soothing and enjoyable as this display may be, it’s not an experience remotely out of the ordinary for anyone in attendance. So, by the time 5pm rolls around and the attention of those assembled begins to wander to the A Series of Controlled Explosions stage due to open in the venue’s adjacent section, there is a tangible air of expectation as the collective consciousness ruminates on exactly how important a moment in time this showcase will prove itself to be.

The crowd are promptly ushered through the two arched doorways into the room where all such musings come to an abrupt halt as As In Bear set about offering up ample justification for the use of any of the plethora of potential puns that can be derived from the name of this second of the two stages.

Upon entry, it becomes immediately apparent that the duo – never one in favour of the preservation of the divide between artist and audience – have completely rejected the idea of performing on the stage they are opening. There exists standing room only, as seats and tables have been removed in order to accomodate Grant, his drum kit and a worryingly unsteady looking makeshift platform upon which stands David, replete with guitar and a look of steely intent.

For the duration of this first slot on the bill, the room is engulfed in a more frenzied affair than even As In Bear generally provide, as the swelling crowd forces bodies closer into the middle where instruments and performers alike are flung around with complete abandon and waves of unforgiving sound are thrashed out in every direction.

An all-too-brief setlist is punctuated with some well-placed dedications and then, in what feels like an acknowledgement of the gig’s significance, the boys unleash a finale even more delightfully chaotic than usual, as Grant’s drums are speedily assembled atop the aforementioned platform and he proceeds to leather his way through a display of sticksmanship which could not be accurately described as anything less than an attack. It is a testament to the appreciation the pair inspire in their audience that the drummer is rescued from several near falls by the willing hands of the crowd who keep him on balance until the crescendo proves too much, the drum stool is discarded and the final crashes are played out – without any noticeable missing of a beat – by a percussionist with one foot on the ground and the other on a pedal raised three feet in the air and attached to a falling kit.

The phrase reverberating around the room is “holy shit!” - Sixteensixteensix

"As In Bear – Bar Bloc, Glasgow – 13/7/11"

A pre-gig look at As In Bear’s Facebook shows a photo of an open space in a crowd wherein lies the wreckage of what was clearly once a guitar and drumkit, as one onlooker – presumably a band member – clutches a broken drumstick. This serves as welcome respite from the usual generic band pictures and the image’s connotations of destruction and disorder succeed in evoking tremendous excitement at the prospect of seeing these guys live.

No more than twenty people occupy Bar Bloc, as tables are cleared away to create standing room in front of the stage, and that’s counting the members of the other two bands on the bill and the staff. There is the disappointing feeling that what looked set to be an evening of swirling bodies, flailing limbs and instruments in flight is going to turn out to be something of a non-event.

As In Bear (made up of David the guitarist and Grant the drummer) take the stage and it’s bated breath all round…

All fears immediately subside as the first note of opener Too Bad triggers an explosion of energy which sees David abandoning the confines of the stage area and tearing straight out into the middle of the modest audience. Territory firmly mapped out, he launches into a one-man riot of mesmerising proportions, equal parts frenetic dance and out-of-control seizure.

Grant takes his cue from this and the drums kick into full force as he assumes a frantic demeanour which matches that of his fellow noise-merchant perfectly. Every beat is a veritable assault; his face set somewhere between a growl and a grimace as he proceeds to lash his kit, as though intent upon some crazed sonic vendetta.

And with this, the tone of the performance is well and truly established. With each successive song, the pair wade further into their auditory catharsis, dragging the audience in with them as heads and feet move in time with every crash of a drum or slash at a set of strings.

As In Bear’s material being entirely instrumental, it is to their immense credit that they manage to keep everyone in the venue captivated for the duration of their set, given how difficult it can be to draw in listeners without the hook of lyrics or vocal melodies to compliment the music. It is, without a doubt, their stage presence and enthusiasm which sees them so effortlessly surmount this obstacle.

That’s not to say that their music itself isn’t accomplished, if tending towards the abrasive, but it wouldn’t do to get too hung up on the intricacies of As In Bear’s sound when looking at this performance. Although their offerings do vary from studio to live setting, in terms of volume and violence in delivery, the part of the evening truly deserving of coverage is the sheer energy on display.

A few more spectators arrive as the set progresses but that’s really neither here nor there. What started out as a fairly empty and subdued room felt instantly packed the minute the duo launched into their performance. In a situation where the tenor of the evening rested solely on how the band decided to carry themselves, As In Bear have succeeded in setting the place alight with a captivating blast of passionate vehemence.

Watching them peel through their set, the mind goes to all those interviews with bands who have ‘made it’ and their talk of still having given it their all during early shows, the sincerity of which often seems so dubious. The mind goes to those moments and returns to the centre of Bar Bloc to focus on a band who will be able to regale such stories without the slightest fabrication and a sense of superiority abounds with the realisation that everyone present in the room will be able to stand as testament to that.

Little is said between songs, with David confessing to those gathered that their “patter is shite.” There is a cursory introduction and a shout out to Bar Bloc as their “favourite venue” but the only extended monologue comes from David when he acknolwedges the two bands above them on the bill. This is a genuinely humble moment which makes apparent As In Bear’s knowledge of the scene they are a part of, as well as their admiration for their fellow performers. This seems appropriate, given that there’s really no need for arrogance or ‘swagger’ when your performance hits as hard as theirs does.

In spite of this evening of huge positives, one thing As In Bear definitely need to work on is their self-promotion. There was no entry fee for this gig and the headliners, Mojo Fury, have a fairly high profile at present. As a result, the crowd should never have been so small.

This is a band that deserves a hardcore following and this was a show that should not have been missed. Outside of writing or performing, garnering a loyal fanbase ought to be David and Grant’s main priority until such time as venues like Bar Bloc are heaving with people itching to get in on the action.

Overall though, As In Bear prove a fantastic experience. The set doesn’t deliver quite the level of destruction and disorder hinted at by the picture on the band’s Facebook – although the close of the last song does see David’s guitar being dropped like a piece of trash and left in the middle of the floor - but this omission is more than made up for in energy and enthusiasm. It is fantastic to see musicians with the balls to just throw themselves into a performance with such abandon, regardless of the size of their audience.

More of this is needed! - Sixteensixteensix

"Lady North, Black International, As In Bear (Sneaky Pete's, 16/11/11)"

I first caught Lady North live some time ago at a gig I was reviewing for They were opening support to The Fire & I, but ended up being a highlight, and I had a gushingly positive outlook for their future. And sure enough, they've gained some convincing traction since, with a lot of press attention and a slot at the T Break stage at TITP this year. So when I heard they were headlining a formidable line-up at one of my favourite Edinburgh venues, I was THERE. It was part of a £3 night called "Survivalism", put together by local newbies Survivalist Records. Pretty good way for them to kick things off I'd say, but yeah...

Glasgow newcomers As In Bear were opening. I shared a stage with these guys once before- very nice lads, but I'd been too busy at the time to really pay attention to their set, so I was looking forward to getting a chance to really take it in. On this week's webcast I rubbishly described them as "...And So I Bronto From Afar", but then again that's not a million miles from the truth. They have a similar stage setup and spazzy sound to the almighty talented fuckers of Scottish noise rock, but their instrumental nature and ear for melody brings to mind, well, ASIWYFA. But there was all manner of cool musical and dynamic ideas being hurled all over the fucking place, more than enough to make it an interesting, fresh-sounding set. At one point, the loudness subsided drastically, leaving the sound of drummer Grant Donaldon (fucking good drummer I should add) tapping at his snare. The audience were silent as anything, a totally intense moment. Then it all kicked back in and, before I knew it, the drum kit was in front of the stage for the finale of the set. Very, very cool to see a young band aiming for that kind of vibe, check out some of their tunes for a better idea. Ones to watch and all that.

I've been aware of locals Black International for some time- I reviewed their debut album for edRock back in July, and it's really cool. Basically, it's sparse and spiky post-punk type stuff in the vein of old Wire material. I'd never seen them live, so this was pretty exciting stuff. Interestingly, it turns out their bassist has left, leaving just vocalist/guitarist Stewart Allan and drummer Craig Peebles. Now, maybe it's because I'm in one, but I love myself a guitar/drums two-piece, so my interesting instantly shot up further when I saw them take to the stage. And hey, it worked. As much as the bass parts were by no means superfluous on record, Allan's clattering, driving riffs held their own. Another pleasant surprise was the intensity of the drumming. On record, Peebles sounded like a meticulously precise and inventive drummer, in true post-punk fashion, and whilst this was retained live, it turned out he's also very fun to watch. Pulling expressions that ranged from borderline-enlightenment to absolute agony, he furiously smacked out his (at times surprisingly intricate) patterns in a really entertaining way, which really helped carry a performance that would've otherwise been fairly static. They played one new song which was easily the set highlight, looking forward to hearing a new release from these guys.

By the time Lady North were up, it turned out they were already suffering from a classic case of the old "drunk frontman". Guitarist and Digitech-Whammy-advert-on-legs Scott Bullen took to the stage alone, sat in front of his pedal board, and began fiddling about. This turned into 10-15 minutes of layered 90's dance beat stuff, which morphed into a Battles song (hey, he pointed it out himself, I'm not even being a dick here). As much as I hate to play the "indulgent" card on anything remotely creative (I'm not bald nor am I 50 nor am I a 'punk'), I kind of wondered what the fuck that was all about. But he then explained he was fed up playing the same 5 songs every night so uh, whatever I guess. Bullen then introduced "his backing band", who shuffled onstage looking kind of bemused, and I realized he wasn't suffering from arsehole-frontman-syndrome after all: he was just pretty pished. They wasted no time kicking into "Ali, The Pig Opera, And The Helicopter", their usual set opener (I'm pretty sure the set hasn't changed since I first saw them), which is a great intro-type tune that worked perfectly. It all seemed like it was going to be okay, with Bullen coping more or less fine (some attempts at crashing cymbals with his head aside- I've tried it sober and it's a reeeally dumb idea). But cracks started to show by the 3-song mark- the booze count went up, and his ability to play went further into oblivion, much to the irritation of his "backing band" (who are talented guys, I should add- drummer Paul Bannon is one of Edinburgh's finest, really). It got to the point of being almost uncomfortable to watch, although for the most part the music sounded fine to me. But by the last song, all the tapping guitar parts were getting a bit too complex for Bullen, and it ended up just sounding like Robert Fripp doing a solo whilst...bungee jumping or something. (in a bad way, I mean, I'm sure that could be kind of cool...) The set kind of juddered to a messy halt. Then bassist Jamie Steel marched over to Bullen (who had removed his trousers halfway through for some reason) and gave him the most mindblowing wedgie I've ever seen in real life. Like, he was suspended in the air for a good few seconds. He didn't get up for a long time. But I'm not going to be some sensationalist tool and make out there was some proper internal warfare going on within Lady North. Everyone in a band has probably been there and they coped pretty well.

Basically, it was a really fucking solid night of diverse, good-quality tunes (especially for drummers). We need more affordable lineups like this- fair play to Survivalist for having good taste in music. - Dark and Twisted Sounds

"Glasgow Podcart’s Nightmare Before Christmas"

Glasgow Podcart has always had the ethos to help support the underdog and the grass roots. It was the reason we started and one of the reasons we have had such tremendous help and support from great people.

We had previously ask a great and well known band to headline this gig, but timing issues and personal commitments meant that they couldn’t do the gig so Kirstin and I were left with a predicament. Who would take their place?

So me being me, i.e. unhinged and ridiculous thought what if we got an almost unknown to headline. When I first put the idea to Kirstin she pointed out it was a risk and so did I, however what is life without risks.
Essentially I don’t know a bill that has had this done before and with 3 support bands that are absolutely incredible each in their own right then why wouldn’t it work?

So Podcart is going right back to its roots and putting the unknown first. Having run the idea past all the bands they have been absolutely amazing and think we are mad, but are excited.

So the final line-up is:
As in Bear
Lady North

PAWS, Lady North and Citizens need absolutely no introduction. They are 3 bands we have spaffed about from the rooftops and are discordant, clever, genius musicians, but more importantly they are loud as fuck.

As in Bear are also the above, but they are young, at the start of their musical career and have some of the best potential we have witnessed in any band we have seen. We are confident they can rise to the challenge.

Our venue is Glasgow’s Captains Rest and we have also gone back to our roots and have brought in artists to help make this something a wee bit special. Our theme of Nightmare Before Christmas is being taken to the extreme! We will also have a really BAD Santa and a few other surprises.

What I will say is that the finale of this show is not one to be missed.Thanks to our Kirstin for designing the poster!

So tickets are on the door and a fiver and we will see you there!
Sometimes you just have to do things a wee bit differently.
Halina Rifai - Glasgow PodcART


"Bear Puns" Demo EP (Self-recorded demo, Limited self-release)



Noisy two-piece from Glasgow/Ayr, influenced by the likes of ...And So I Watch You From Afar, At The Drive-In and Bronto Skylift. Over the past year we've been lucky enough to play shows round Scotland with the likes of United Fruit, Brontide, Shapes, Dad Rocks!, Shoes and Socks Off, Lady North and many others, and have received attention from Glasgow PodcART and Detour Scotland.

Over the next year we plan to record and release new music with the help of Overlook Records, and continue to play more and more shows, with an eye to touring in the summer.

"As in Bear...are young, at the start of their musical career and have some of the best potential we have witnessed in any band we have seen. We are confident they can rise to the challenge." - Glasgow PodcART

"Bronto Jr., for Cbeebies" - Never Make Friends

"Fantastic. Do check them out. Two piece. Brilliant." - Dad Rocks!